DESPITE being in the losing end of the Filoil Cup title game, Jio Jalalon and Arellano earned praise from De La Salle coach Aldin Ayo.
Jalalon had 32 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals for the Chiefs against a formidable La Salle side, but couldn't keep the Green Archers from rolling to an 86-74 victory.
Still, Ayo said he is left impressed with Jalalon’s improvement from last year when the La Salle coach was still coaching Letran in Season 91 of the NCAA.
“Si Jio, ang laki ng improvement niya. Ripe na siya for the pros,” said Ayo.
The La Salle coach also had good words for the Chiefs, who he said have improved by leaps and bounds as seen from the performances of Kent Salado and big man Lervin Flores.
“They are much better compared to last year. Lalaban ‘yun,” said Ayo.
This early, the Chiefs are being labeled as a title favorite for NCAA Season 92 following their finals appearance in the Filoil as well as title victories in Fr. Martin Cup, Got Skills, and other pocket tournaments in the provinces.
Still, Ayo stuck to his assessment that Letran will remain a title contender for Season 92.
“Letran pa rin ako. I’ve talked to McJour Luib before nitong game. Nag-meet kami and sabi ko sa kanila, keep on working hard. Lagi akong susuporta sa kanila,” said Ayo.
Ayo said Letran’s advantage for Season 92 will still be its championship experience.
“Basketball naman, darating at darating ‘yung point na pipigain ka. Kapag nandoon ka sa stage na ‘yun, anong gagawin mo, gusto mong manalo or wala kang gagawin.?
“Sa ganung situation, lamang ang Letran dun,” said Ayo.